Read Recovering Fundamentalists founder Drew Stedman’s story of recovery from evangelical fundamentalism.
Fundamentalists often insist on a required choice between belief in their view of the Bible and an eternity of suffering.
I am at peace with myself and my ‘version’ of God! bless you all in your journey!
Walking away is a scary process, but honesty with yourself is necessary for life, growth and (if you choose to persue it) genuine spirituality.
I’ve left Christianity altogether now. To be honest, it hurt like hell. I didn’t lose just a belief system, but a whole culture that I was raised in and that had become a huge part of my life.
I visited Japan and ran across a statue of a dog I’d never heard of before. The dog came every day with his master to the train station and waited at the platform all day until his master returned from work. One day his master died while at work, and the dog waited for the rest of his life for his master to return, never leaving the station. Each day at the correct time he would sit and look at everyone getting off the train to see if his master was among them. The dog, named Hachiko, was remembered by the memorial where I stood.
The story gripped my heart. I realized I was like Hachiko. I was patterning my entire life around an event—the return of Jesus—that was never going to happen. Once I allowed myself to be open to the painful truth, it crashed down upon me like a sledgehammer. There was no happy eternal ending for me. This life is all there is, and I was wasting it by waiting for a master who would never return.
I was born a fourth generation Seventh-day Adventist, and was for my formative years a devoted Adventist. But as a young adult I discovered that the beliefs I grew up with was no longer an adequate explanation for my experience of myself and the world. Questions for which there seemed to be no adequate answers led to doubts which led to more unanswered questions. What began as a few small cracks in the structure of my beliefs grew and spread until the whole structure came crashing down, leaving me with little to guide me as I entered into the world. In my journey since that time, I have come to a much fuller and richer understanding of the nature of myself and the cosmos than the beliefs that I had been taught to regard as “TRUTH” beyond all question. I’ve also learned that the question is often more important than the answer.
In my mind, it’s really not strictly about “fundamentalism.” Fundamentalism is simply an easy target. All religious lies are abuse. Why would anyone want to tell a chlld lies? My children were harmed by the whole nexus of events. Eight years after my deconversion, I still don’t get it. Whether it’s priests hitting on kids or pastors convincing men that they have to believe mind-numbing doctrine, it’s all physical and mental abuse that has harmful consequences. It’s pathological and anyone who loves children should think about it. Anyone who wants to be moral shouldn’t use their authority to influence especially a child toward belief in any religious lunacy. My only regret is not figuring that out sooner. All children should be taught fidelity, kindness, compassion, giving, industriousness, responsibility, etc. But chief among all these values is honesty. Christianity is among the cruelest belief systems and the failure to be honest makes Christianity immoral by definition.
I was one serious kid. Despite my healthy sense of humor, I worried a lot about the Big Questions. When in bed with a severe cold, I pondered my death. Especially as I hit puberty, I had to understand everything thoroughly. I wanted to get it right and make it mine. No hand-me-down religion. I was going to feel it for myself and work it out intellectually too. At sixteen, I decided to chronicle my spiritual life.
In a world with as much chaos, hatred, bigotry, and over-consumption as what we live in – there is a need for the hope that faith brings. I think that when I fully embrace these beliefs and live in the knowledge of them, my faith seems clearer, my world looks brighter, and loving others is easier.